Denise Coates – CEO and co-founder of sports gaming website Bet 365 – has, in the past three years, made more than $1 billion.
Last year, her company was the biggest tax contributor in the whole of the UK.
Sports gambling has been on the rise for many years now and shows no sign of slowing down.
The influence of the internet
The internet has changed practically every industry worldwide, and the sports gambling industry is no different.
Never before has it been easier to place a bet on sporting events. Whereas once punters used to have to visit a bookmaker to place a bet, they can now do so in the comfort of their own home via their mobile phone. All within minutes.
New markets have also arisen. Accumulators have become common betting practice for many people on a Saturday when the majority of football games are played.
Unusual markets have also opened. For instance, if you want to bet on the number of corners or number of yellow cards, then there are markets for you.
The dramatic rise of this has lead to higher and higher profits which, in turn, have led to vast marketing campaigns from nearly every bookmaker. If you are watching sport on TV you are likely to be bombarded with the adverts offering you the latest odds for in-game play.
This isn’t without issues, however. Gambling has blighted many people’s lives due to the curse of addiction.
How governments choose to handle this complex issue continues to be debated. Yet, when remembering that Bet 365 were the biggest tax contributors to the UK, it is not hard to imagine why the British government is not too keen on cutting them back.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the UK reduced the maximum stake at fixed betting terminals in the UK from £100 to £2 in with then minister Matt Hancock describing them as a “social blight”.
Is there more room to grow?
One of the biggest talking points in the sports gambling industry currently is the market of the United States. For many years online gambling has been restricted by the majority of US states. However, this may soon change with many more states legislating to legalise online gambling.
There is a huge appetite and market in the US, and many of the prominent online gambling sites will be desperate to crack into the huge American market.
The influence of the internet cannot be underestimated in the rise of sports gambling. What was once a pastime of visiting the bookmakers has turned into a huge industry throughout the UK. However, there are certainly risks in this rise that need to be monitored closely – particularly the affects of addiction.
18+. Play responsibly. Begambleaware
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.